Sunday, September 30, 2012

Schedulin Sunday!

I have this feeling as Schedulin' Sunday wears on that I am forgetting something.  I feel like there is this event I need to attend...something about a ballroom, 5:00 p.m. on Saturday, October 6th...oh well, onto lesson plans and glittery fun for the week!

Well, it's that time again.  Another weekend has come and gone.  And for teachers everywhere, that means lesson plans.  Lesson plans means Pinterest.  Pinterest means procrastination.  And before you know it, we're all up til midnight planning for the week.  For those of us teachers who "don't work to educate our children" this sure is a lot of time and effort (Um and money!) to not teach!  Right?!

This is a special week at the Circle K (my affectionate nickname for my school!) because we're celebrating Read For The Record this week!  Read For The Record is Thursday, October 4th and this year the featured book is Ladybug Girl and The Bug Squad!  The goal is to get kids excited about reading and set a world record!  If you sign up and read the book on Thursday, you can help set the world record!  In order to celebrate reading, we turn our celebration into a week long extravaganza!  Have you ever known me to not find a reason for an extravaganza?  (Or at least use the word...In my warped reality, everything is an extravaganza...maybe not to those who don't live in my altered reality!  But I enjoy my altered reality!)  Our week includes read aloud contests (My class has won every year but one and that year we lost by 3 books.  WON'T.  HAPPEN.  AGAIN.  Anyone want to Skype in and read to us?!), door decorating contests and dress up days!  That's right, we get to dress up!  Read on to find out more about our dress up days!  And of course we're learning about bugs and insects!  So, without anymore of me going off on a tangent, here is our week!

Click on the book to learn more!


We kick off our week with the story "The Very Lonely Firefly" by Eric Carle!  One of our favorite authors for sure!  After reading the story we will create a character map about the firefly!  We are also learning the letter N this week so we will do a picture sort (I AM THE KING OF PICTURE SORTS!) and make our famous hats!  This week the hat is a nest!  Nest for N!  So excited!  I know you're beside yourself waiting to see my with nest on my head!  In math we are continuing our shape adventure!  My students scored 100% mastery on the shape assessments last week so we can move on to composing larger shapes with smaller shapes (How do my monsters learn things since I am not working to educate them?!)!  Today's activity will be Shape Monsters!  My students will create a circle monster, square monster, oval monster, rectangle monster, or hexagon monster!   I just copy the shapes on colored paper and let them get creative (OOOO colored paper!!)  You can download my FREE (and while you're there, feel free to make a purchase or 25) monster shape pack by clicking on the picture!  

The monsters will begin their firefly buzz by  using  aluminum foil, neon paint and hand-prints to make fireflies!    I found the aluminum foil idea on Pinterest!  

Just wait until you see my mismatch outfit!  Be sure to come back tomorrow (if you can stand my ramblings!) to see how the monsters and I mis-match it up!

Tuesday-HAT DAY!

We continue gettin' buggy with it by reading The Very Clumsy Click Beetle and creating a character map of the beetle.  We will also talk about how this book was the same and different than The Very Lonely Firefly.  We will also make our "see" sight word watch so we know that every time someone asks us what time it is, we can say "see!"  We will do another picture sort for the letter N (picture. sort.  love.)  and for writing we will make a tree map of what fireflies can, do, what they are!  In math we continue shaping it up by using shape pieces to create a firefly!  We will also create a bug hat to wear for hat day (in case we forget to wear our hats!)!  

And of course, no day in Monsters, Inc. is complete without a craftivity!  And this one involves GLITTER!  You know I love all things glittery!  I also found this on Pinterest!  SHOCKER, right?!


Today we are "gettin' buggy with it" using the book The Very Busy Spider!  We will read and discus the story and complete a character map about the spider.  Yes, we will compare and contrast this story with the other books we've read this week!  We will use our tree map ideas from Tuesday to complete a predictable chart about fireflies and we will continue to learn the letter N (but we will not, I repeat, focus on the letter N and the sound of N.  Doesn't happen!)!  In math, we will be working on shapes using the book Mouse Shapes!  After reading the story and discussing how the shapes were used to compose the pictures, the monsters will use the shapes to create their own mice!  

Our craftivity for the day (you know I MUST do one daily or my day is a failure!) is a cute firefly made from circles!  Guess where I found the idea?!  I think we might even hang these from the ceilings!  HMMMM

Just wait until you see me dressed like a bug!  

This is where my week ends!  I have a sub Thursday and Friday is a planning day for teachers.    Why do you ask???


With that being said, here are few other things we will be doing this week!  

We will be using our fingers (or Q Tips) to count fireflies!  Click the picture for your freebie!

We will be reading this cute emergent reader!  Click the picture for your freebie!

And since my monsters know I am getting married (and they are so excited for me!  It's so awesome to get to share this momentous day with them in small ways!) I want them to get in on the action!  I created this little wedding pack for them to use while my sub is there!  I cannot wait to see what they create!  Also on Thursday, my parents are arriving for THE WEDDING and we are going to surprise the monsters with a pizza party!  Click on the picture to get your free copy of the wedding pack (and buy buy buy!)  I would also love to hear your thoughts on including my students in my special day!!  Leave me some comments and let me know your feelings!  Just be gentle.  It is my wedding week and I am the groom and I am emotional.  

I also hope to get to do this fun little art project with my kiddos!

Check out this great freebie I created using the Friendly Ghost Clipart from From The Pond Graphics!

Now, I want you to go visit my friends TPT stores because they're awesome and they have awesome stuff!  And they're my friends.  And I am the groom.  And it is my wedding week.  Do I need to have my first groom-zilla moment?!

Saturday, September 29, 2012

The Saturday Kindergarten Post

It's Saturday.  That means it's time for The Saturday Kindergarten Post!  I hope your week with your little monsters was as productive and enjoyable as mine.  We worked hard, laughed a lot, learned a lot and Mr. Greg even had time to most of his report card assessments!  I can't believe it's already time for report cards.  Time flies when you're having fun!

This week we did not focus on the letter I.  Do your student's struggle with the short I sound?  It makes me crazy.  They either say the short A sound or the short E sound.  It's like nails on a chalkboard after a while.  I also here "itch" when I ask for the sound I makes because we use Dr. Jeans "Alphardy" song every morning and the song says I for itch.  So I says itch.  Appropriate when you consider there was a bed bug issue in the classroom next door!  You're scratching now aren't ya!?!  I says itch.  We told ya so!

This week learned all about apples!  We learned about the life cycle of apples, we learned about orchards, and all the foods we could make from apples and we learned the parts of an apple.  Did you know that the inside of the apple is called "flush?"  They mean flesh, but my monsters said flush.  And did you know that apples are "gushy?"  Juicy.  Gushy.  I like gushy better than juicy!     To kick off our apple adventure, we made a KWL chart!  They did very well with the chart.  Getting them to generate questions was challenging, but we were able to persevere and come up with some great questions.  And guess what?  I totally forgot to take a picture of the chart.  But take my word for it, we rocked the KWL chart.  Have you met my class??  Those little monsters are AMAZING!  We made a stained glass apple and even made apple prints!  Can I just say how messy apple prints are???  It's a good thing I have my handy dandy manly apron or I would have been in trouble with the fiancee' for ruining my "good school clothes!"  But my motto is:  messy=fun and learning!

Apple printing!  Seriously messy fun!

Our apple prints! And my giant foot.  I am 5'6" and wear a 11 shoes.  Seriously, when will I grow into my feed??  I am still waiting on my growth spurt!

Johnny Appleseed hats!  The kids CRACKED UP every time I would call someone by their name and add "Appleseed!"  

Stained glass apples.  I am becoming addicted to these projects.  I might ahve to add "king stained glass artwork" to my title of "king of picture sorts!"

Our super cute Johnny Appleseed craftivity!  A HUGE thank you to Donna at Peace, Love and Learning for sharing her awesome Johnny Appleseed craftivity!  We modified it a bit by adding the googly eyes and red stickers for his apple red cheeks!  

We wrapped up our apple extravaganza with apple pie and apple cider!  

Look at the face in the background.  He was mad at me again for ignoring him the entire 4.34 minutes he was yelling my name!  

Next week we will celebrate Read Me Week and Read For The Record Day.  One of our activities is a door decorating contest.  Every classroom decorates their door according to our theme.  Our theme this year is "Gettin Buggy With Books!"  Isn't that a great theme?  I wonder who thought of such a great theme....hmmmm  Our door (I am not unveiling it until Monday so you have to come back Monday to see our awesomeness!) involves writing (gotta meet standards.  We can decorate and create while still meeting standards.  Mr. Greg is so's such a shame I don't work to educate my children!)  Friday we spent all afternoon working on our door!  

The Berenstein Bears!  I love that these are favorite books! 

We also read "There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed Some Leaves" twice!  The kids love to echo read the book so we had a blast reading it together!  I am a FIRM believer in the power of echo reading.  We echo read daily.  It helps build fluency and basic reading skills.  And it's fun.  Do you sense a theme in my teaching??  FUN!  After reading the story, we did our very first flow map.  We did it together but the kids did a great job re-telling the story.  I am so proud of them!!

Any guesses at to what these are???  HMMMM This is good stuff people!  

These are frozen cubes of paint.  That's right.  Frozen paint!!!  I poured tempera paint into ice trays and froze it!  Can I just say how awesome my monsters think Mr. Greg is?  Freeze some paint and you're teacher of the year!  We used our frozen paint to paint the letter Ii for I week!   I for ice.  I highly recommend you try this.  The kids LOVE it!  And guess what   It's SUPER SUPER SUPER messy!  The more we paint, the more the ice paint melts.  Messy=learning! 

Teacher tip: Get your pen and paper ready!  I bought these shower curtains on clearance at Wal-Mart several years ago for $1.25 each.  We throw them on the table when we paint!  No mess on the table.  Clean up is so simple.  Just fold up the shower curtains and go!  You can thank me later!  

They couldn't get over the cold.  Just look at that face.  That's a face that says I love school!  

We also made insect hats (pay attention because these might just show up as part of our door decorating!)  You know you just can't hardly wait until the next Saturday to see me wearing my crazy hat.  Well guess what?  Next week, you get to see me wearing TWO hats!  Can you handle the madness??  

How cute is he?  Nuff said.

This week we launched our shape journeys!  This week was focused on learning the shapes, naming the shapes, recognizing shapes and drawing shapes.  We graphed shapes, we sorted shapes, we colored shapes and we played Shape Bump It!  My shape activities can be found here! And guess what?  100% of my students showed 100% on our assessment Friday!  Can you imagine what my students would achieve if I were actually working to teach them?  I can't even handle the thought...

We kicked of Working on Words this week too!  I love this center!  They use scrabble tiles (that I made all by myself!) to make words.  Would you like the word cards?

Breakfast in the classroom kicked off this week!  I was actually nauseous thinking about this and how much of a disaster it would be.  Guess what?  It has gone so well.  I am so proud of my monsters!  Here's my secret:  I set our iPad up and set the timer for 15 minutes.  When it says 0 breakfast is over. Done.  The kids have already gotten the hang of it!  My only issue:  how are chocolate chip waffles, cinnamon rolls and chocolate chip waffles considered part of a healthy breakfast?  Seriously!  My kids deserve better food than that.  That's all I'm sayin!

Of course we also learned sight words, did our math journals, wrote letters, read books and practiced our hallway procedures again.  And again.  And again.  

How was your week??  What did your students do this week?  

7 days.  7 days.  At this time next week I will be in a Vera Wang tuxedo being photographed.  At this time next week I will be 90 minutes away from my wedding.  HOLY CRAP!  It doesn't even seem real.  Now, visit my TPT store and buy something.  The pantry full of fun beverages wasn't cheap!  

I bought some cute candy corn clip art from The 3am Teacher so I am off to create a fun math pack!  Be on the lookout.  

Friday, September 28, 2012


Did we all survive this week?  Can I just say that this week has drug on so slooooow.  I thought Friday would never get here.  I bet next week goes by in a nervous, excited, stressed out emotional blur.  8 days.  People, 8 days.  My to do list is multiplying.  I know you all have tons of free time so feel free to chip in and help a dude out!  Here's my wedding tidbit for the day:  We met with the florist today for our final meeting to hash out details.  Picture it:  Sicily.  Oh wait, I'm not a Golden Girl (a boy can dream, right?!)  Tall glass cylinders.  Tall willow branches with a large collar of green hydrangeas.  Green orchids suspended in the branches.  Surrounded by candles.  I'll give you a second.  I know...right?!  Just hearing the assistant say they had ordered us cases of hydrangeas and purple and orange calla lilies made me cry.  I said...emotional.  I hope you're all ready for a week of my incessant wedding ramblings.  If it gets too much, someone slap me and tell me to hush up.  Or give me your best teacher look!

Today I just want so share a few random and amusing occurrences in from Monsters Inc.  There will not be any earth shattering teaching AHA moments (Sorry, Oprah!) life altering teaching ideas....just the deranged thoughts of this male Kindergarten teacher!  Aren't ya'll so glad you have accepted me into your world?!

Next week we are celebrating Read For The Record with a week long celebration.  Each year we have a door decorating contest.  This year our theme is "Gettin Buggy With Books!"  (I know right...wonder who had the brilliant idea?!  HMMMM).  We spent a lot of today preparing our door.  The final version will be unveiled in my Manic Monday post.  Be there.  As part of our door, I always incorporate writing ( I smarter...wait, according to some higher up, I don't work...oh well, I digress).  We used the writing prompt "______________ is buggy about____________"  The kids wrote their names and their favorite book.
Here is one of my favorites:    *ick a Pumpkin.  Right?  How can you not love kindergarten??

"Pick A Pumpkin Mrs. Millie"

As we were working on our writing, I asked my special ed friend what his favorite book was and he said "Chad" (his name).  I asked him again what was his favorite book to read and he said, much more sternly, "It is Chad Fl**ing."  Apparently Chad Fl**ing is Chad Fl**ing's favorite thing.  LOVE THAT KID!

***Discalimer:  We did these in small groups.  They told me their favorite book and I wrote it down and they copied it!  Didn't want you to get the wrong idea about my kids and their writing!  

Kindergarten superstars!  LOVE THEM!

The new iPhone software lets you do these awesome panorama pictures.  Isn't this a super cool view of my super cool classroom?  I LOVE my classroom and all of its color and artwork and mismatch stuff!!  It just screams:  ME!  It also screams that this a classroom where kids rule and we work and create and explore and have fun!  This isn't a sit down and be quiet place for sure!

Apparently there was some disappointment with my blog post yesterday because it did not include my outfit.  Here's why:  I spelled red Crystal Light on my yellow polo shirt.  Not pretty.  I have a thing about people seeing my not looking my best (Shallow and vain.  I know.)  I don't even like the fiancee' to see my CRAZY bed head.  And I didn't really like my outfit I didn't share.  So sorry.  It won't happen again.  

Today's Outift:
Shirt:  Target (can you tell I LOVE v-necks!?)
Pants:  Calvin Klein (huge splurge on my first pair of CK jeans...LOVE!)
Shoes:  Skechers
Apron:  Aunt Lorrie

And finally I am participating in a huge give-away!  Head over to Herding Kats In Kindergarten to enter!  There are a ton of great prizes!!!!  

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Therapy Thursday!

OUCH!  I have a headache.  Runny nose.  I cannot get sick.  I will not get sick.  9 days.  9 days.

It's time for some weekly therapy.  And by this point in the week, we all need some therapy.  If my special ADHD friend yells "Mr. Greg Mr. Greg Mr. Greg Mr. Greg Mr. Greg" one more time...ya know what I mean.   And tomorrow...tomorrow is one of the those dreaded days.  It's the homecoming weekend for a local college and half of our teachers take the day off.  No subs show up.  Guess what that means?  Yeah.  I will have a room full of kindergartners and 4th graders and 3rd graders.  Seriously...say a prayer.  Send me good vibes.  Drive to Nashville and rescue me.  Soapbox moment:  I think it is completely inconsiderate and unprofessional that so many teachers are allowed to take the day off.  It really does have such a negative impact on our students and teachers.  Shame.  I will step off the soapbox for now.  And that's hard, because I have a lot to say.  Have you met me?  I tend to be vocal and lacking of a filter!  I know, shocker, right?!

It's time for some therapy...

Obviously.  I am not normal.  I am me.  And I wouldn't want it any other why.  The world needs me.  And the world needs you.  I need you.  And really, what is normal anyway?  

How do you instill confidence and appreciation of differences in your students?  

This awesome gift came in the mail today!  Isn't this great?!  I love it.  10/6/12.  9 days.  Are you ready to help me celebrate??

And I got this awesome lunch bag from a co-worker for my birthday.  It's perfect.  It's so me.  It's so not normal.  It's so bright and colorful.  If only it had glitter!!  OOOOO glitter...

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"The Gentleman's Guide To Dressing A Kindergarten Teacher"

Happy Hump Day!  Are your kids a little bonkers this week?  Mine have been wonky!  And today we had to split another class so we had a full classroom.  Yowza!  For someone who "doesn't work to educate his students" I am worn out because I didn't work an 11 hour day today.  How is it that I am so worn out from not working?!  Shew!

I am linking up with Kindergarten Lifestyle for a Letter Linky party!  I want to share one of my favorite and I think, most effective, tools for learning letters.  It is especially useful in the beginning of the year.  And guess what?  It can even be used later on for sounds!   What is this amazing wonder of letter learning that I have created?  It's my letter identification PowerPoint!  I created it at the beginning of the year and my kids love it!  I even added sound effects to help my kids stay focused (who can ignore a drum roll between every letter?!)  At the beginning of the year I separated the uppercase and lowercase letters!  Now I have uppercase and lowercase letters all mixed up!  I have seen huge gains in my students letter recognition.  80% of my students know all uppercase and lowercase letters!  Consider that at the beginning of the year 80% of my students knew less than 5 letters.  The repetition of doing the PowerPoint every morning is powerful.  It's easy, quick and effective and provides (WAIT FOR IT!) daily informal assessments!  I know...I know...I am so smart!  Click on the picture to download your letter recognition PowerPoint!  If you use it, I would love to hear your thoughts and feedback!

And now, here is what you all want to see!   This is how I dress for work!  I will try to share my outfits so you'll know how a man dresses for a day of not working with Kindergartners!  

Shirt:  H&M
Pants:  Old Navy ($5)
Shoes:  Sketchers

And the best part of the outfit:  my crab socks!!  

10 days.  THE WEDDING!  I sold 10 products since 4:00!  THANK YOU!  Keep buying.  Those amazing Vera Wang tuxes arrive a week from tomorrow and they weren't cheap!  hehe

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